CQC publishes data on COVID-19 deaths & persons with a learning disability

In the past few months, one of the dominant news stories has been that of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social care sector.  This has mostly focused upon the issues surrounding elderly care.

However, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has this week published an analysis regarding deaths of persons with a learning disability and/or autism.  The analysis is based upon notifications from providers registered with the CQC where the death certificate indicates the deceased had a learning disability.  This shows in the period 10 April to 15 May there was a 134% increase in deaths in comparison to the same period in 2019.

In this period, the specific number of deaths identified by the CQC was 386.  206 deaths were as a result of confirmed and/or suspected COVID-19.  180 deaths were not related to COVID-19.  In the same period last year there were 165 deaths.

Last month NHS England had released figures saying deaths from COVID-19 amongst adults with learning disabilities/autism was broadly in line with deaths in the general population.  But the NHS England figures did not include deaths in the community or care settings, and it was as a result of this that the CQC produced its more recent analysis.

It is too early to say how COVID-19 has affected adults with learning disabilities/autism but these early analyses do suggest this group is disproportionately affected.  These figures of course don’t include those who contracted COVID-19 and recovered.  What it all ultimately means for the claims market is unclear at present, and no doubt that will all depend on specific circumstances.

A copy of the CQC report can be found here and a report on the NHS England figures can be found here.


Jennifer Johnston, Associate, BLM

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